10/22/2015  |  How to Tap a Pumpkin

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You know the great gourd of goodness as a spooky jack-o’-lantern and everyone’s favorite fall-inspired pie. As Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant fans, you’ve also filled your growlers and bellied up to the bar for our pumpkin beer—lots of different beers, from ales to imperial stouts and everything in between. So why not serve up seasonal pumpkin beer directly from the great gourd itself?

A few of our brewers do just that. We caught up with Iron Hill North Wales head brewer Doug Marchakitus and Iron Hill Media head brewer Andrew Johnston to give us the inside scoop on prepping a perfect pumpkin tap.

Where do you snag such a huge pumpkin?

Doug: Our pumpkin this year was provided by Merrymead Farm in Lansdale. They were not only willing to find a big pumpkin for us but were also extremely excited for what we had planned for it.

Andrew: I usually ask one of the chefs to place an order with their produce guys—American Beauty—for an extremely ridiculous-sized pumpkin. This year for “Brewhouse of Horrors” in Media I had a pumpkin that could hold up to 8 gallons of beer, which is a good cask amount. In the past, during “Gathering of the Gourds” in West Chester, I’ve brought in pumpkins that could hold up to 15 gallons of beer—that’s an entire keg.

How do you carve it so it can dispense delicious beer?

Doug: There’s nothing too complicated about preparing it: cut the top off of it and scoop out the insides. Of course we don’t like to waste anything. We toast the pepitas (seeds) and when all the beer is finished we use the meat of the pumpkin. Last year our kitchen made a pumpkin bisque that was the highlight of the dinner specials that night. I usually carve out a little spot—not all the way through of course—for the tap to go through with ease. I use a simple firkin tap that we use for cask-conditioned beers. Just line it up and hammer it in. The great thing about the pumpkin is that is seems to naturally create a seal around the tap.

Andrew: Big pumpkins are pretty hollow on the inside, not much guts to them. And, the seeds are about the size of a nickel, so they’re easy to handle. I typically rest the pumpkin on a cart covered with a tablecloth so that it lays nicely—you don’t want it to roll away! Then I just cut off a bit from the top, making sure to mark it clearly so I can place the top back on well aligned. From there I get to scoopin’! One thing you want to do so you don’t wind up with a cracked pumpkin and beer all over your pant leg is to score the front bottom outside of the pumpkin where you’re going to tap it and carve away a little of the outside hard flesh in sort of a circle. This should give you a clean tapping and also gives you a target to aim for. I always like to draw on the outside of my pumpkin. Give it a face for the big show!

Obviously Iron Hill beer is the best beer to put in your pumpkin—what’s your favorite?

Doug: My beer of choice is, of course, our Pumpkin Ale. We use pumpkin in the mash, but serving it in a fresh pumpkin really highlights that pumpkin flavor. One thing that you hear many people say is that pumpkin doesn’t have any flavor and you’re really tasting the spices. I challenge anyone to say that after drinking straight out of the pumpkin.

Many beers other than a traditional pumpkin ale work surprisingly well with pumpkin. My beer of choice in North Wales right now is our Pumpkin Coffee Stout. I knew that pumpkin and coffee would blend well together. After all, I blame a certain coffee company that will remain unnamed for starting the pumpkin spice craze. For me, coffee beans from Backyard Beans Coffee Company in Lansdale and the roasty flavor of a stout blend better together than anything I’ve ever had in a cup. Another soon-to-be-favorite beer of mine is our barrel-aged Ichabod. Ichabod was a strong Belgian pumpkin ale from last year, but we put it in an oak barrel with various strains of wild yeast and bacteria to create a funky, sour, pumpkin ale. When you think pumpkin you think sweet, but the tart flavor of wild ales works great with pumpkin.

Andrew: Obviously our Pumpkin Ale is a must-serve out of your pumpkin cask, but we do have a delicious Belgian pumpkin ale on tap right now, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, that would work too. To spice it up a bit I always add some honey, cinnamon sticks and cloves to my pumpkin cask. That takes the beer to a whole other level. And, you want to fill your pumpkin a few hours before tapping so the flavors soak into the beer.

How do the folks at home snag the right equipment to tap it?

Doug: I recommend a firkin tap, which you can get at most brewing supply stores or online.

Andrew: Really all you’ll need to tap your pumpkin cask, besides the pumpkin and beer, are a heavy mallet (we use rubber) and a gravity-dispensing tap. I like to order mine from UK Brewing Supplies.

Any advice—or funny stories—for a first-time pumpkin tapper?

Doug: No Halloween horror stories yet, but I’ll admit I kind of dread tapping it every year. I have yet to have a disaster! I think the anticipation is part of the fun, but I think I’m due to make a mess.

Andrew: Oh, you have to see this video. It was my first year doing “Gathering of the Gourds” in West Chester and I’d never tapped a pumpkin cask in my life. Needless to say I didn’t prepare my pumpkin right and ended up getting beer all over myself.

All I can say is that you need to approach your pumpkin with a delicate hand when it finally comes time to drive that tap into it. You must be gentle but make every hammer count. If you’re not, you might end up with a whole lot of beer all over you.

The Fine Print

Our professional brewers have handled taps almost since birth, so they do make it look easy. Andrew’s beer bath shows even the best can end up with a mishap. So if you’re going to try this at home, you’ve been warned. Now go get a massive pumpkin, growlers full of your favorite Iron Hill pumpkin beer, a tap and mallet—and perhaps a small tub and lots of towels—as standard equipment for at-home attempts. Remember, visiting ghouls and goblins will have their cell phones set to “video,” so make it a great show no matter what.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

10/21/2015  |  Iron Hill Media Is Going Back to the Future—Today

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Today’s the day: keep an eye out for Marty McFly, as Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown’s DeLorean time machine is set to October 21, 2015. Seriously. Today was foretold—or predicted?— in Back to the Future II.

Oh. This is heavy.

Of course, you’d have to be in Hill Valley, Calif., to meet young Marty (and old Marty), but closer to home in Media you can land at Iron Hill and toast this cosmic happenstance with Doc Brown Ale. It’s medium-bodied and deep brown in color with smooth nutty and chocolate malt notes. If Doc had had this elixir back in the day, he wouldn’t have had to worry about fixing a busted flux capacitor to bust through the space-time continuum.

“Roads? Where this beer’s going, it don’t need roads,” explained Back to the Future enthusiast and Iron Hill Media head brewer Andrew Johnston. “The movie is an all-time favorite of ours here at Iron Hill and we wanted to have some fun with this cult phenomenon. Consider the brewery my version of Doc Brown’s garage. I even ordered Marty McFly’s puffy red vest to add to the revelry. Would Doc actually drink this beer? Great Scott! We’d like to think so.”

Doc Brown Ale is pouring exclusively at Iron Hill Media and is very limited—just two kegs, which will be tapped at 5 p.m. We’re challenging fans to don movie-inspired attire—think denim jackets, Guess jeans and Hawaiian shirts, staples of any self-respecting 1989 closet.

We’ll see you later. Or is it earlier? Depends what year you were in before you went back to the future to sip Doc Brown Ale.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.


10/08/2015  |  Iron Hill Tees Off to Support Delaware Food Bank; Next Up, Blue Jean Ball

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We love giving back to the communities we serve and have a special place in our hearts for Delaware, where Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant got its start. That’s why we’re bursting with pride over the success of the Food Bank of Delaware’s recent Golf Tournament at the Fieldstone Golf Club in Greenville.

Our own founding partner and director of culinary operations Kevin Davies conceived of the idea in 2014, offering to turn his enthusiasm for golf into a fundraising—and fun-raising—day out. The inaugural tourney raised $20,000; this year’s outing raised $30,000 for the Delaware Food Bank’s Backpack Program. This groundbreaking project helps feed children over the weekends and on holidays when school is not in session.

“Our goal was to make it the best one-day charity golf tournament in Delaware, and I believe we have,” Kevin said. “Fieldstone is a beautiful course and a pretty special place to be. We support the Delaware Food Bank because we believe in its mission to feed the less fortunate people in the state of Delaware. I’ve known its president, Pat Beebe, for a number of years and admire her for her passion to serve the community. Iron Hill is proud to sponsor this event.”

Our involvement with the Delaware Food Bank goes back many years, starting with simply donating beer for some events. Three years ago we signed on as the title sponsor for the annual Blue Jean Ball, coming up this year on Saturday, October 24. This is the tenth year for this party to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware’s hunger-relief programs.

“The Blue Jean Ball typically raises around $70,000,” Kevin added. “This year, we’re mixing the theme up a bit with a tasty fall harvest menu that’s sure to please. Our chefs and about a dozen students from The Culinary School go in a day ahead and prep the menu. The students help us cook and serve that evening. They really enjoy it as it exposes them firsthand to the experience of what they will actually do when they graduate.”

Kevin works with our chefs and brewers to pull together the perfect beer pairings for each course. He notes, “I’m proud of the work our chefs have done for the Blue Jean Ball over the past few years and their contributions to a very worthwhile charity. To date, Dan Bethard, assistant director of culinary operations, Mike Petrilla, head chef in Newark, and David Foster, head chef in Wilmington, deserve a lot of credit.”

And while seasonal food and fresh beer surely are highlights, partygoers’ tickets also include wine, entertainment and dancing with Mike Hines and the Look, as well as the chance to win prizes in the costume contest. Costumes aren’t required, and blue jeans are welcome, but why not get into the spirit? Every guest also leaves with a commemorative beer mug.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant is the presenting sponsor, but we’re grateful to other companies who’ve jumped on board to make the event profitable for the Delaware Food Bank. Now, all we need is for you to grab your tickets—just $75 each until October 19. Check out all the fun we’ve had in the past and be sure to be there for this year’s Blue Jean Ball.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

10/05/2015  |  Iron Hill Nabs 2 Silver Medals at Great American Beer Festival 2015

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We could not be more proud to announce that our Russian Imperial Stout is still our most awarded beer, thanks to the Silver Medal Iron Hill Media snagged at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Our most lauded beer—a complex, full-bodied stout—now boasts seven GABF medals and four World Beer Cup (WBC) medals. And it’s in good company: overall, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has brought home 44 medals in 19 consecutive years.

Cheers also to Iron Hill Chestnut Hill for earning a Silver Medal this year for The Cannibal. It’s not this Belgian-style golden ale’s first time at the rodeo: The Cannibal also has a 2005 GABF Gold and a 2006 WBC Silver hanging around its storied neck.

“Our established history of earning national awards for our beers, along with our many repeat wins such as The Cannibal and Russian Imperial Stout, is a testament to the exceptional quality and consistency of our beers,” commented Iron Hill Director of Brewery Operations Mark Edelson. “Day in and day out, our brewers produce a top-notch product, and we’re proud to recognize our winners and congratulate them.”

The GABF is the real deal: it hands out medals in 92 categories. Judges taste—without knowing the beers’ names or provenances—during five 3-hour sessions over three days. Our wins came among a very crowded field: 6,647 entries from 1,552 breweries.

We’re also sending high-fives to the other seven Pennsylvania brewers who took home GABF swag, including local friends at Saucony Creek Brewing Company, Sly Fox Brewing Company and Stoudts Brewing Company.

You can sample and judge both of our winners by grabbing them as Bottled Reserves when you’re at your favorite Iron Hill. Be sure to let us know what you think of these award-winning beers!

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

10/02/2015  |  Maple Shade Supports Operation Fill-A-Backpack

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You know Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant as great beer, great food and great people. But did you know our amazing staff members regularly do good deeds in our communities?

We’re proud of our Maple Shade rock stars, who took part in Oaks Integrated Care’s Operation Fill-A-Backpack, a partnership with the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) Young Professionals Network (YPN). Maple Shade manager Jessica Deal is part of YPN and rallied our troops to participate.

“It was a great day! Eight of us helped fill backpacks with back-to-school supplies—900 were stuffed with goodies that day,” Jessica explained. “We had everything imaginable a kid could need from pre-K to high school. It seems so simple, but then you remember how exciting it was to get your school supplies in the fall. That made it extra rewarding.”

Iron Hill Maple Shade enjoys a great relationship with the BCRCC, which has trusted us with banquets, fundraisers and other special events at our restaurant. We’re happy to be members and to get more involved with our neighbors.

“Our assistant general manager, Scott Hill, was ‘in’ as soon as I told him about it,” Jessica added. “He got us tie-dyed Iron Hill shirts to wear, which made us all feel recognized—it was a real team-building event. We also got the chance to network afterward with the other volunteers. All around, it was an amazing day.”

Jessica sent a message to all staff members about Operation Fill-A-Backpack and was touched with the overwhelming response. Some couldn’t attend that day but are looking for volunteer opportunities—Jessica will keep them in the loop, as Iron Hill is big on volunteerism. It’s in the spirit of our mission to give back to the communities we serve, and we encourage employees to volunteer, on us. Managers may volunteer and participate in nonprofit or charity events a half-day each quarter, and our employees can earn up to 24 hours of paid time off each calendar year for doing the same. Of course, many go above and beyond on their own time, a testament to the quality of character of our Iron Hill family.

Along with her YPN volunteerism, Jessica does a few runs each year proudly representing Iron Hill. She’s never surprised when she sees fellow Iron Hill employees doing the same.

“It’s our culture, and that attracts a certain caliber employee to Iron Hill,” she added. “It’s one of the many reasons I love working here.”

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

09/26/2015  |  Voorhees Regulars’ Rescue Pup Celebrates 10 Years

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When it came time to celebrate Lucy’s birthday, Tom and Margaret Muns knew there was just one place to go: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s outdoor patio.

Although many celebrate their special events with our Voorhees team, revelers are usually of the human variety. On that recent warm evening, however, the happy birthdays were sung to Lucy the rescue dog, one of our very favorite customers.

And we really like her human parents, too.

“Lucy became special to us at Iron Hill Voorhees because her parents are in so often—we enjoy great conversations with them,” said Assistant General Manager Chad Phillips. “Lucy is such a big dog that she commands attention just with her size alone. But then when you meet her—she’s just so sweet.”

Lucy is the seventh Muns Great Dane; Tom got his first when living in Texas in 1975. When they moved here and their previous Dane went to the big dog park in the sky, Tom and Margaret decided to look into a rescue dog.

“We love the breed, and we were open to an older dog,” Tom said. “We’re not really set up for a young dog anymore as our townhouse doesn’t have a big yard. Lucy was eight when we got her, so we’re all seniors in the same stage of life. We can’t believe we got so lucky to get Lucy.”

The Muns adopted Lucy from the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League and have high praise for that organization and for the woman who raised Lucy from a pup, but could no longer keep her.

“Lucy is very well trained and has the perfect temperament,” Margaret added. “The rescue really screens you—right down to a home interview—and we passed the test to get our Lucy. It will be two years in November.”

Since then, lucky Lucy has become a regular at our Voorhees location. The Muns say she knows exactly where she’s going when it’s time for a “car bye-bye.” And no wonder Lucy can’t wait to get to Iron Hill: the outdoor patio is a gorgeous place for humans and their well-behaved canines.

“I first remember meeting Lucy several months ago on the patio,” Chad recalled. “I thought it was so funny and sweet that her parents brought a bed for her to lay on instead of the hard concrete. I knew she was a very loved dog just by that.”

Since Lucy is such a rock star at dining out, we asked the Muns for a few pointers. They said their top tip is to bring a bed and a water bowl: those comforts of home provide a safe spot for your pup to relax and take in the sights.

“You also have to consider the dog’s personality: not all are good in a restaurant setting,” Margaret noted. “If they bark, are afraid of strangers, don’t get along with kids or other dogs, then it’s best for everyone that you leave your dog home.”

Tom concurs and adds, “As owners of a large dog, we’re really cognizant of the people around us. Not everyone is a dog person, and even some dog people take a second look at our 135-pound pup. But, Lucy is an exceptional dog. She’s quiet and gentle.”

And good dogs get treats, like one of the two special meals Iron Hill Voorhees has available for four-legged friends. Our chef reached out to a few vets to find out what was pet-friendly to serve at a charity event we did, and it just took off from there. We offer two selections for pets on a limited basis: Chicken and Rice Meatloaf and Beef and Rice Meatloaf. Both are bland so they don’t bother your pooch’s stomach. Plus we top them with a sprig of parsley for fresh breath.

In Lucy’s case—it was her birthday, after all—her special dinner was topped with a birthday candle and accompanied by her favorite staff and servers singing “Happy Birthday.”

Pets and their humans are welcome to dine on our outdoor patio, weather permitting. Once the patio closes, it’s humans-only until Mother Nature graces us with springtime warm weather once again. As the seasons change, it’s best to give us a quick bark … err, call … to make sure outdoor dining is available: (856) 545-9009.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

09/24/2015  |  Join Iron Hill in Celebrating Oktoberfest 2015

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Guys, don your lederhosen and ladies your dirndl: the most German festival-inspired time of the year is upon us and we’ve got just what you’re hungry and thirsty for during Oktoberfest 2015.

Our popular beer will begin to pour Thursday, September 24, and will pair up with some mighty delicious specials through Sunday, October 11. Iron Hill Restaurant & Brewery’s Oktoberfest is a traditional German festival beer that’s a medium-bodied lager with a sweet, malty and bready aroma and a firm malt flavor. It’s balanced with mild bitterness and a clean, dry finish. Grab one—or more—for just $6.25 per pint.

Raise your bierkrug—your King of the Hill Rewards Club (KOTH) beer stein—to our Oktoberfest menu featuring tasty twists on the traditional and created to pair perfectly with our seasonal beer:

  • Apple and Butternut Squash Soup with spiced crème fraîche—$4.50 per cup, $5.95 per bowl

  • Warm Goat Cheese Salad, mesclun greens with pickled golden beets, dried cranberries and apple-honey vinaigrette—$9.95

  • Oktoberfest Egg Rolls stuffed with bratwurst, sauerkraut, cheddar, green onion and stone-ground mustard sauce—$10.95

  • Black Forest Meatballs with exotic mushrooms, crispy fried onions and sour cream sauce—$8.50

  • Grilled Alsatian Flatbread topped with applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, gruyere and horseradish sauce—$7.95

  • Schlachtplatte, a grilled butcher’s plate with bratwurst, garlic sausage, smoked pork loin, roasted fingerling potatoes, sauerkraut and stone-ground mustard sauce—$18.95

  • Hackbraten, German-style meatloaf with smashed Yukon gold potatoes, beer-braised red cabbage and hunter sauce—$16.50

  • Sauerbraten Pot Roast marinated in red wine, with beer-braised red cabbage, spaetzle and gingersnap gravy—$23.95

  • Mustard Crusted Salmon scallion smashed yukon gold potatoes, buttery asparagus spears and roasted mushroom sauce—$22.95

  • Huhner Schnitzel, pan-fried chicken cutlets with haricots verts and almonds, buttered egg noodles and lemon-herb sauce—$17.50

  • Birnenkuchen, German pear cake with raspberry sauce—$5.95

Out Lancaster-way on Saturday, September 26? It’s worth the trip: stop in to Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant from noon to 3 p.m. for our Prost! festival, where you’ll find classic Bavarian fare and eight Oktoberfest-themed beers to go with it: Munich Helles, Berliner Weisse, Kölsch, Oktoberfest, Rauchtoberfest, Schwarzbier, Munich Dunkel and German Pilsner. KOTH members can belly up at 11 a.m. and also grab small bite butter cookies.

Not a King of the Hill Rewards Club member yet? No worries; join on the spot and nab your small bite in Lancaster during Prost! Bonus: you’ll also enjoy a full year of special benefits at all of our locations. It’s just $25 per year, and you snag 150 free points at sign-up and renewal, not to mention a treasure chest of other exclusive perks.

Might we bust out additional events in honor of one of our favorite times of the year? Stay in the loop by keeping a close eye our events and be the first to know. Your friends at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant can’t wait to see you.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.


09/17/2015  |  Growler 101: Tips for Transporting Your Growlers Home Safely

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Take note: there apparently is no bad way to transport your precious growler of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant beer, unless the method exposes beer to light. That’s why we love to see our beer going out the door in our carefully constructed growlers.

Still, the super-cautious go one step further with another layer of protection. From the humble paper bag to the snug tote and even the sophisticated bicycle cage, growler transport is serious business for many beer drinkers.

We asked some of our fans and some of our own how they ensure their growlers are tap-fresh when they crack ‘em open. Check these top tips and up your growler transport game.

We started with our own brewers—who better to safeguard the products they conceive and create? Phoenixville head brewer Tim Stumpf favors the growler tote, which can be simple or elaborately decorated to suit your mood. He adds, “Without one of these, it’s still best to put them into some kind of bag. Brown glass is better than green or clear, but it still lets in a little sunlight, which hurts beer very quickly. I usually use my special grocery store bags since they are strong enough and don’t let light in.”

Media head brewer Andrew Johnston is a fan of the most popular method we discovered during our informal survey: securing the growler in the passenger seat with a seatbelt. In a pinch—say you have a pesky passenger in shotgun—he’s been known to cushion the growler’s ride by wrapping it in his gym towel and stowing it in his gym bag.

Speaking of exercise and growlers, Chestnut Hill head brewer Chris LaPierre earns his after-work beer by bicycling 13 1/2 miles to and from work. This commitment spawned an invention: a special growler cage attached to his bike. Our friends at Philly Beer Scene recently shared the full story.

Since our King of the Hill Rewards Club members (KOTH) tend to live close to their favorite Iron Hill, most—like Stephanie Anderson—favor the seatbelt method.

KOTH member Bob Henry put his engineering degree to good work by fashioning safe passage with towels, cargo nets and bungee cords. Despite the secure trunk transport, he also took the added step of defending against light with the paper-bag method.

When Ronna Dewey uses her KOTH membership to snag a growler, she makes good use of one of the least-used features in most cars: the built-in pocket on the back of the front seats. One growler fits snugly in each pocket.

Iron Hill fan Kristen Kwiatkowski favors the seatbelt method, but she goes one step further with some cushioning. She repurposed plastic grocery store bags for the growler’s comfort.

We also tapped beer aficionados Arne Morin and Kerry Watson. Beer writer Arne’s favorite transport method was one he wasn’t willing to photograph, but which we can respect: safety first! He says, “I just rearrange the pile of mess on the floor in the back of my car into a protective growler nest. This way I can nestle my growler into the nest and it will stay safe without rolling around the floor the whole drive.”

Kerry is open to several methods—no surprise since he is often growler-filling as the brains behind inmyexBEERience. You’ll find Kerry’s growlers with an extra layer of protection “so the sun isn’t beating them up and skunking them,” and then either seatbelted in the passenger seat or stowed in a cooler bag.

Another method of transport, from anonymous: “I bring my kid’s car seat and strap it in there.”

Our president and CEO Kevin Finn delights the members of his soccer team with Iron Hill beer after pretty much every game. In fact, he’s starting to draw a crowd.

“I have this ‘soft’ cooler I got from the Philadelphia Eagles a few years ago. Three growlers fit perfectly into the cooler and I usually bring it to the games. It is usually just enough beer for the team after a game, but lately some of the other teams have been stopping by so I might bring more so I can share,” he said.

Internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Schaller—who just happens to have done the murals for all our locations—has perhaps the best “transport” method: “I usually invite Kevin Finn over for a party and he brings them.”


You don’t have to know anyone at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant to grab a growler fill, but now you know clever ways to get that growler safely to its destination! And, if you need a little intel on how long our beer stay fresh in the growler or how to clean the glass itself, swing over to our Growler 101 blog.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

09/12/2015  |  11 Pumpkin Beer Events You Don’t Want to Miss at Iron Hill in 2015

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If you can’t get enough of the season’s favorite squash, you’re in luck: we’ve got two months of multi-tap events lined up at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Sure, our official Pumpkin Ale release hits all 11 of our restaurants on Friday, September 11, but that’s just the start of a pumpkin patch’s worth of limited-time beers, special menus of fall flavors and pumpkin-inspired dishes and King of the Hill (KOTH) Rewards Club member specials. Your trick-or-treat bag will never look better than when it’s stuffed full of Pumpkin Ale in cans—available only at our restaurants.

Whip out your calendar and plan to be at your favorite Iron Hill, or bust out of your routine and hit several (we’d recommend swinging by all these events for the best variety). Remember to bring your growlers so you can tote our liquid goodness home.

Maple Shade: Welcome, Great Pumpkin—September 12, 1–5 p.m.

Kick back to live music from the Cartoon Christmas Trio from 1–3 p.m. and sip on Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale: it’ll be on tap and on sale in 750ml bottles.

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Cinderella’s Carriage, Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Bourbon Russian, Coffee Pumpkin Stout, Punkdotter, Biere De Gourde and Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

KOTH Exclusive: complimentary housemade pumpkin fudge.

Wilmington: Out of Our Gourds—September 12, 1–5 p.m.

Got a competitive spirit? Best be a KOTH Rewards Club member or join today for our member-exclusive tourney (hint: there are always great prizes).

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Pumpkin Ale, Black & Pumpkin, Pumpkin Weiss, Charlie Pumpkin Brown, Blanche De Pumpkin, Vanilla Pumpkin Ale and Coffee Pumpkin Porter.

KOTH Exclusive: Beer and Bocce Tournament with staff and local brewers.

Chestnut Hill: Packin’ Pumpkin—September 12, noon–4 p.m.

Two lip-smacking KOTH exclusives at this multi-tap—did we mention you should join?

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Cinderella’s Carriage, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Coffee Stout, Southern Tier Pumking and Dogfish Head Punkin’.

KOTH Exclusive: Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek on tap, plus a complimentary 4 oz. surprise taster added to a sampler.

Ardmore: Pumpkin Pint Night—September 19, 1 p.m. onward

You won’t want to miss the six beers on tap at our gourd-centric event that ends … whenever.

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Berliner Weisse, Cinderella’s Carriage, Bruce Camp-Ale, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

KOTH Exclusive: complimentary housemade white chocolate pumpkin truffle.

Phoenixville: Welcome to Pumpkinville—September 19, 1–5 p.m.

We’re renaming Phoenixville “Pumpkinville” today because six great growler-fillers are coming to town.

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Cinderella’s Carriage, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Coffee Stout, Cask Conditioned Honey-Vanilla Pumpkin Ale and Pumpkin Weisse.

KOTH Exclusive: free commemorative pint glass for the first 40 members who order the sampler.

Media: Brew House of Horrors—October 3, 1–5 p.m.

Love a little fear and some pumpkin beer? We’ve got you covered with eight spine-tingling beers on tap, special hourly pourings and Simpsons-inspired fare—d’oh!

On Tap: Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale, Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Charlie Pumpkin Brown Ale, Gourdzilla IPA, Punktoberfest, Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Weisse and Pie & Coffee. Plus two giant jeroboam bottle pourings of Ichabod at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and a pumpkin firkin tapping at 3 p.m.

KOTH Exclusive: complimentary pumpkin pie small bite.

West Chester: Gathering of Gourds—Oct. 10, 1 p.m. until the beer runs out (or we close)

Celebrate cucurbita pepo (a.k.a., pumpkin) in a big way with 16—count ‘em, 16—pumpkin beers. Our annual event is the big daddy of multi-taps; come see why.

On Tap: Munich Punkel, Gourdzilla, Weyerbacher Brewing Company Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Evil Genius Brewing Company Trick or Treat, Dock Street Brewing Company English Pumpkin Stout, 2SP Brewing Company Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Elysian Brewing Company Night Owl and Dark O The Moon, plus eight more!

KOTH Exclusive: a mini Pumpkin Turnover.

Voorhees: Out of the Gourdinary—Oct. 16, 1–4 p.m.

Honor the greatest of gourds with eight Halloweenie beers.

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Coffee Stout, Charlie Pumpkin Brown, Pumpkin Weiss, Great Pumpkin Stout, Smoke-O-Lantern and Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

KOTH Exclusive: Super Secret beer; you have to come to find out!

Newark: Hallowed Pumpkin Hill—Oct. 10, 1 p.m. onward

A day of sampling pumpkin beers of all shapes and sizes highlighted by the tapping of the Great Pumpkin and our third annual pumpkin pie eating contest.

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Coffee Stout, Smoke-O-Lantern, Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Great Pumpkin Stout.

KOTH Exclusive: hourly Pumpkin Ale drawings.

North Wales: Tapping of the Great Pumpkin—Oct. 17, 1 p.m.

Our annual celebration of autumn featuring six pumpkin favorites. Stop on by before, during and after the Tapping of the Great Pumpkin 5K and Festival.

On Tap: Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Coffee Stout, Cinderella’s Carriage, Blanche de Pumpkin, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Tam O’Shanter.

KOTH Exclusive: small bite pumpkin cheesecake.

Lancaster: No Tricks, Just Treats—October 31, noon–3 p.m.

It’s the most costumey time of the year and we’re partying with six pumpkin beers plus a family-friendly event. We’ll have treats for kids of all ages, a kids’ costume contest and a face-painter from 1–3 p.m.

On Tap: Pumpkin Berliner Weisse, Pumpkin Coffee Stout, Cinderella’s Carriage, Punktoberfest, PunkRauch and Punkwit.

KOTH Exclusive: members may belly up at 11 a.m. and get some love from our head brewer, who’ll be pouring a few jeroboams of special reserve beers.

So let’s break it down for you:

  • 11 great pumpkiny events across all our locations.

  • Pumpkin Ale is available on tap and in cans.

  • Seasonal dishes will delight and vary by restaurant.

  • KOTH members are spoiled with exclusives.

  • Growlers are welcomed and encouraged: you’ll be the hero at fall parties and holiday gatherings.

Stay in the loop as events continue to unfold by scoping our events page—frequently. You don’t want to miss a minute of fall fun with your friends at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

09/03/2015  |  Everything You Need to Know About Iron Hill’s 2015 Pumpkin Ale Release

Category: Uncategorized  |  Posted by: thetowndish  |  Add Comment


You may not be happy seeing Halloween candy in the supermarket already, but we know you’ll be grinning ear-to-ear at the prospect of pumpkin-infused beers returning to your favorite Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Patience, thirsty beer friends, the day is nigh: on Friday, September 11, every Iron Hill location (all 11 of ‘em!) will start pouring the better-than-pumpkin-pie Pumpkin Ale—on tap to sip at the bar or to fill a growler and (new this year!) in 4-packs of cans to take out. (Word of advice: for a perfect pairing, try our special Pumpkin Sriracha Wings, too.)

We tapped one of our head brewers, Andrew Johnston of Media, to run down the tasty tidbits on our seasonal sensation and his experience ruling our Instagram account to show off his team’s efforts.

What secrets can you can give away about Pumpkin Ale?

It’s a nod to our homebrew heritage: we roast up whole pumpkins, puree them and add them to the mash, that happy place where grain and water come together. And we’re not skimpy: there are 3½–4 pounds of pumpkin per barrel. That’s a lot of roasted pumpkin. This year is extra special because I grabbed some pumpkins from my mom’s home garden. Now that’s fresh!

But what gives Pumpkin Ale that Iron Hill taste?

OK, I can only tell you so much before I’d have to kill you, but it’s our signature blend of pumpkin pie spices with a bit more cinnamon added. Our co-owner and Director of Brewery Operations Mark Edelson calls cinnamon the happy spice—and it is. We also create the perception of sweetness, like pumpkin pie with whipped cream, by tossing vanilla bean into the boil. And that’s all I can divulge!

You took over @ironhillbrewery on Instagram to give a sneak peek into Pumpkin Ale. What did you learn?

I had a lot of fun! It was great because as a brewer, I got to reach a lot of people I don’t normally get to reach through my @ihbandrew handle—and I got more followers. The best part was giving everyone a look into the brewing life. That day ended up being one of the most fun I’ve ever had brewing because I had to stop, look around and take pictures of what we do on a normal basis. Sure, we brew for work, but we have a lot of fun in the brewery every day.

Why is Iron Hill’s Pumpkin Ale so popular?

This time of year, everyone becomes a craft beer drinker. People are willing to put aside their wine or mixed drink to indulge in Pumpkin Ale. It’s much more approachable because it’s so close to tasting like a food product. The malty, slightly sweet character, spices and vanilla are amazingly reminiscent of pie, so everyone has to have it for that fall-is-here experience. Plus, it’s available for a limited time, and that makes it extra-special. We fill quite a few growlers because it’s only available for a few months and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving.

Why do you love it?

It reminds me of being a kid. It takes me back to fun fall times: hayrides, jack o’lantern carving, eating pumpkin pie and the nostalgia for being a kid … in a big kid way!

Why choose Pumpkin Ale to go in cans?

This is its first time in cans, and they’ll be the 16-oz. pounders. There will only be about 120 barrels put into cans, so don’t delay in giving them a try. Cans are making a big comeback because the technology has improved so the can actually protects the flavor of the beer. No light at all gets in, so there’s no “skunking.” That old stigma of a “metal” taste is no longer an issue. This isn’t your grandpa’s canned beer.

Plus, craft beer drinkers are a lot more active, and beer transports better in a can. You can take cans hiking, to the beach, on a hayride or out with you while you’re raking the leaves. Obviously they’re super popular at tailgates and family functions, too.

Can you give a little taste of what other pumpkin goodness is on the horizon at our Media location?

Grab a seat at the bar because over the next month or so you’ll also see Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Weiss, Gordzilla IPA and Pie and Coffee. Pie and Coffee is a dark pumpkin ale somewhere between a porter and a stout brewed with pumpkin meat and all the right spices, but after fermentation we cold-steep it on fresh coffee beans for a few days. And that’s just in Media. Wait until you taste the rest!

Want even more pumpkin?

Keep an eye on our website for all of our fall- and pumpkin-themed events unfolding throughout our 11 locations, including the Brew House of Horrors event in Media starting at noon on Friday, October 3. That’ll be just one of many times you won’t want to miss as we fill our growlers, snag Pumpkin Ale in cans and raise a toast this fall. Explore our full company-wide event lineup under the “fresh events” roster on our homepage.

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.